Summer in the Sun: South Bay Outdoor Activities Guide
Bikes, Hikes, Sports and More
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by Guest Writers on May 18, 2012
The San Jose Giants have played at Municipal Stadium for 70 years.
San Jose Giants
San Jose Municipal Stadium
Everyone knows San Jose is a large city. In fact, we’re a city of Giants. The San Jose Giants have competed at the municipal stadium for 70 years and have graduated 108 players to play for the parent club, including Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey. Post-game fireworks displays take place on June 8, June 27, July 4 (of course), July 5 and Aug. 12. There will be 39 home games this summer; regular tickets start at $10, and kids and seniors are $7.
5K Pineapple Classic
18405 Mt. Hamilton Road, San Jose
Joseph D. Grant Park hosts the 5K Pineapple Classic on June 9. Teams will help each other over obstacles while sporting wacky costumes. There are various categories to participate in, even a King Kamehameha category, in which two-person teams weigh more than 400 pounds, or four-person teams more than 800 pounds.
There will be a post-race Luau, and spectators can join in the fun for $10. The race benefits Leukemia research.
San Jose Bike Party Ladies Ride
The Bike Party’s Ladies Ride will embark on Saturday, July 14. Like all Bike Party events, this is sure to attract hundreds of cycling fans for a fun evening. There will be mechanics at the meet-up spot to help adjust bikes, and do minor repairs. The organizers of the Bike Party recognize that cycling is a male-dominated sport, and they’d like to introduce as many women as possible to the thrill of two wheels. The route hasn’t been released yet; keep an eye on http://www.sjbikeparty.org.
Mt. Hamilton Classic Bicycle Race
The observatory that scrapes the eastern horizon has been stargazing on top of Mt. Hamilton for well over a century. In his poem “The Purse Seine,” Robinson Jeffers looks down on San Jose from Mt. Hamilton and compares the shining city to a school of sardines about to be hauled in. That was in 1937, and if Jeffers were alive today, especially on May 27, looking toward\ downtown, he’d see a different school of reflective creatures heading towards the summit. Those would be the participants in the 2012 Mt. Hamilton Classic. The race is a 64-mile ride up and over Mt. Hamilton that finishes in Livermore. Observers can witness the competition from Joseph Grant Park, or Lick Observatory. Participation in the full race is probably not recommended for novice riders, but the presenter (San Jose Bike Club) offers the “Race to the Observatory” the same day.
Elite/Pro riders begin the race around 8am, and the novice competitors head out around 9:40am.
Silicon Valley International Triathlon
June 22-24, 7am; Almaden Lake Park, San Jose
This is sure be an upsetting day for the aquatic residents of Almaden Lake. That Sunday, triathletes of all shapes, sizes, ages and genders will descend into the chartreuse waters to see who can swim the 1.5K course the fastest. This being a triathlon, that’s only 1/3 of the fun.
Next, a 40K bike race will take participants down Santa Theresa, up Bailey Road and back around to Almaden. If you think climbing up Bailey Road is fun on a group ride, just think how much fun it is after you’ve been kicked, scraped and pulled on in the water for 1.5K. The climb is especially enjoyable on a Tri/TT bike frame, where you can really crank on those aero bars while climbing.
The race finishes with a 10K run.
Castle Rock State Park
15000 Skyline Blvd., Los Gatos
Castle Rock holds a very special place in the hearts of local hikers and rock climbers. Not only does it offer overnight camping, it’s probably the best place around to go rope climbing and bouldering. What makes it even more precious is that the tightening tourniquet around our state parks system’s neck threatens its future. The park was given a temporary, one-year reprieve this March, thanks to the Sempervirens Fund; so make sure you get a chance to visit this summer. Castle Rock is the starting point of the Skyline-to-the-Sea trail, a 30-mile hike that takes hikers from Saratoga Gap, into Big Basin and ends at Waddell Beach. Many hikers take a slight detour (2.7 miles) and enjoy a night of slumber at Sunset Trail Camp.
Shoreline Lake Aquatic Center and Café
3160 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View
Many South Bay residents have experienced Shoreline Amphitheatre during the summer, and many have peered over the back fence and wondered what the heck that lake thing was in the distance. That would be the Shoreline Lake Aquatic Park. It’s the most accessible sailing facility around, and for those who don’t feel like boating, it also has a great cafe/bistro that offers lakeside dining. Shoreline Lake is actually a saltwater lake, its source being the bay, so it’s a great place to see local birds that would otherwise be obscured by the marsh flora. There are sailboats and paddleboats available for rent, a launching area for your small craft (no motors allowed) and even a rigging/launching area for windsurfers.